Council mulls paid LRT park-and-ride spots

Edmonton city council is considering a plan that would allow LRT users to reserve park-and-ride spots for a monthly fee.
A pilot project under consideration by Edmonton city council would allow people to pay for reserved spots in parking lots at some LRT stations. ((CBC))
Edmonton city council is considering a plan that would allow LRT users to reserve park-and-ride spots for a monthly fee.

Under the proposal, 18 per cent of the stalls at the Clareview, Belvedere, Stadium and Century Park lots would be set aside for people willing to pay about $40 to $50 a month.  The remaining spots would be available for free, on a first-come, first-served basis.

In a report, city staff suggest the reserved stalls might appeal to people who travel after 8 a.m., when the park-and-ride lots are usually full.

City transportation manager, Bob Boutilier, believes some people would pay to get a guaranteed spot.

"There are some people that just don't want to drive downtown. If you hit weather conditions or something happens on the bridge or something like that, it just screws your whole day up," he said.

City staff looked at a number of options, including the use of a pay-and-display system, which would require the installation of machines in every lot. 

Instead, the reserved-spot system, where people purchase passes to be displayed in the window of their vehicles, was recommended by staff.

According to the report, the sale of the passes could generate about $230,000 to $315,000 per year, based on a 85 per cent sale level. The start-up cost for the program is estimated at $20,000 to $25,000 for education and signage, with annual operating costs of $50,000 to $55,000, provided a private company carried out enforcement and sale of the passes, the report says.

The city's transportation and public works committee recommended the initiative be approved as a one-year pilot project. Council will consider it for approval next week.